Bulldogs Back At It At Providence

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Brandon Sherrod. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Teams Meet Tuesday At Dunkin Donuts Center

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a nine-day break for final exams, the Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday at Providence. Tipoff at the Dunkin' Donuts Center is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

Providence, which reached the quarterfinals of the NIT last year, is the first of three straight opponents that advanced to the post season a year ago. Yale is at Albany (NCAA) on Friday and at Saint Louis (NCAA) on Jan. 4.

The Bulldogs, who have won three of their last four games, last played on Dec. 7, a 71-61 victory over New Hampshire. Justin Sears led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. Sears, a sophomore, is in the top 10 in the Ivy League in scoring (16.9 ppg.), rebounding (7.9 rpg.), field goal percentage (.505), steals (13), blocks (15) and offensive rebounds (34). Javier Duren (14.0 ppg.) also averages double figures in scoring and leads the team in assists (28) and three-pointers (13). The highlight of Duren's season came when he hit a 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer in Yale's79-76 win at Lafayette.

In their five victories, the Bulldogs have a +8.8 rebounding margin, compared to a -2.0 in their four losses. Ironically, though, one of their top performances on the glass came against UConn when they outrebounded the Huskies 43-31.

Yale has played six of its nine games away from home and is starting a three-game road swing. The Bulldogs will be back in Lee Amphitheater on Jan. 8 against Vermont. Yale opens Ivy League play at home against Brown on Jan. 18.

3 KEYS FOR YALE

Find its rhythm – The Bulldogs have been off since Dec. 7, while Providence hasn't played since Dec. 5. The team that can shake off the rust the quickest will have an edge.

Utilize its depth – Providence's five starters all average at least 29 minutes, and the Friars have only one bench player averaging more than 10 minutes. Yale, on the other hand, has eight players averaging at least 10 minutes, and no player averaging more than 31 minutes.

Rebound At The Defensive End – Providence is shooting just 39.8 percent from the field, but the Friars average more than 13 offensive rebounds per game. The Bulldogs need to limit PC's second chances.

WHO'S HOT

Brandon Sherrod is coming off his best game of the season. Against New Hampshire, he was 6-of-7 from the field, finished with a career-high 18 points and also grabbed nine rebounds, which matched his career high.

• Yale's bench has averaged 22.5 points in the last two games. The Bulldogs' reserves outscored New Hampshire's 24-19 and outscored Bryant's 21-8.

Nick Victor, Justin Sears and Javier Duren are all tied for third in the Ivy League with 13 steals apiece.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Providence are playing for the first time since 2010, a 58-55 Friar victory at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Bulldogs led that game by six with just under eight minutes remaining, but PC rallied. Providence has won the last four meetings and leads the all-time series 10-7. Yale's last win in the series was an 88-51 decision in 1949 in New Haven.

SCOUTING PROVIDENCE

The Friars (8-2) have been off since a 50-49 win at Rhode Island on Dec. 5. Providence's two losses have come to Maryland (56-52) and Kentucky (79-65). Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for the Friars, who beat Brown 73-69 on Nov. 13. Bryce Cotton (18.6 ppg.) leads the team in scoring and assists with 50. Three other Friars – Tyler Harris (12.7 ppg.), LaDontae Henton (12.5 ppg.) and Kadeem Batts (12.3 ppg.) – average double figures in scoring. Seven-footer Carson Desrosiers has a team-best 28 blocked shots. Ed Cooley is in his third season as the head coach at Providence. Prior to that, he spent five seasons at the helm at Fairfield.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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